Tree pruning has a critical role in tree care. However, it's important to remember that it involves cutting off entire portions of trees. If done well, your trees can recover before growing better than before. Unfortunately, pruning mistakes cause damage and disease that can be disastrous for your tree's health. As such, do your best to avoid them if you're handling your tree care rather than leaving it to tree services.
What Are Six Common Tree Pruning Mistakes to Watch Out For?
Here are six tree-pruning mistakes you should avoid when providing tree care:
Using the Wrong Tools
Always use the right tools for the job. You might be able to cut through the wood without them, but the issue is that the right tools help you make clean rather than messy cuts, which matters because trees find it harder to heal from the latter. Besides this, you want to keep your pruning tools clean and well-maintained. Dirty surgical implements can spread pathogens from person to person. Similarly, the University of Minnesota points out that dirty pruning tools can do the same for plants. As for keeping everything well-maintained, that matters because that ensures everything performs as it should.
Pruning Too Much
Trees can regenerate more of themselves than people might expect. Unfortunately, they're far from being invulnerable. Be careful about how much foliage you remove because trees need their leaves to feed themselves. If you overdo it, you could starve your trees by exhausting their reserves.
Pruning In the Wrong Places
Choosing where to prune is challenging because it's easy to make mistakes. You might remove healthy rather than dead or damaged branches because you've misinterpreted the signs. Alternatively, you might prune trees in a way that will encourage unwanted growth and other complications. You must be sure when you prune. Otherwise, you could regret it in the future.
Pruning From the Wrong Angles
Speaking of which, you need to prune your branches at an angle for the best results. This is because you don't want water to gather around the wounded area, which can happen if it has a flat surface. Moist conditions increase the chance of fungal infection. Something that can ruin the look of a tree or worse if you're unlucky.
Pruning During the Wrong Seasons
Bob Vila says late winter is the best time to prune most trees. First, it's easier to see the underlying structure when no leaves are blocking the view. Second, it's less taxing on the trees because they won't lose any new growth. Sadly, these things aren't true for every tree, so it's easy to see why late winter isn't a universal recommendation. Never make assumptions about the best seasons to prune your trees. You don't know if there's an unlooked-for factor that can complicate things until you've looked up the relevant species. This is one of those cases when some research could spare you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Refusing to Seek Help When You Need It
Sometimes, you can't give your trees the pruning they need. One scenario would be you worrying about branches that are too high up for you to reach safely. Another would be a busy schedule leaving you with too little time and energy for tree care. Whatever the case, you shouldn't hesitate to call tree services when you need them. Professionals can get the job done swiftly. Moreover, they're convenient sources of advice if you have any tree care-related questions.